June 19, 2010
I Think Continually–Stephen Spender
I have not been posting poems on this blog for quite a while. I thought I should do so today to say thanks in a poetic way to my blogging friends like Frank, Bean, Tean, Menyalak-er, Kakrubi56, Tok Cik, Danieldaud, and Siti Khatijah and Maureen et.el. They are heroes who brighten this blog. As usual, I will dedicate this poem to my dear wife Dr. Kamsiah G. Haider who is always urging me on when things do not look too bright.
A poem from time to time in times of political gloom is good for our aching souls. At least, that is the way I feel. Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses is one of my favorite but it was featured before. Now let me to introduce Stephen Spender to you. I have chosen this particular poem , I think continually ,by Sir Stephen because I like his last stanza.–Din Merican
I Think Continually
I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.
What is precious is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.
Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
See how these names are feted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
Born of the sun they travelled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honour.
Sir Stephen Harold Spender CBE (28 February 1909 – 16 July 1995) was an English poet, novelist and essayist who concentrated on themes of social injustice and the class struggle in his work. He was appointed the seventeenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the United States Library of Congress in 1965.